Astronaut Stephanie Wilson has a Williams connection.

Next month, Stephanie Wilson will go from looking at the stars to traveling among them. Wilson, 39, who has been a NASA astronaut for 10 years, is one of seven crew members who will travel on the Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station. The flight is scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on July 1.

Wilson said her interest in space began when she was a 13-year-old middle-school student at Crosby.

“I had a career-awareness class in eighth grade,” she said. “Our assignment was to go and interview someone in a career field that we might be interested in.”

Wilson said she chose Williams College professor Jay M. Pasachoff, a well-known astronomer who has written several textbooks and tradebooks in astronomy, physics, mathematics and other sciences. A member of the Williams faculty since 1972, Pasachoff is chair of the astronomy department and director of the Hopkins Observatory.

Good luck to Wilson and kudos to Pasachoff for taking the time to so inspire a child 25 years ago.

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